A relatively niche sector in Nigeria at the moment, aviation and maritime law go hand in hand with finance law as the aircrafts and vessels are usually the subject of a mortgage or other encumbrance by a financial institution. In most firms, aviation and maritime matters are handled by the finance or business advisory team.

Please note that aviation law here does not mean the regulation of airspace or air travel.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Researching and preparing legal opinions on Nigerian aviation and maritime law
  2. Conducting searches and registrations at regulatory agencies

Because money makes the world go round

The banking and finance industry in Nigeria as in most countries, is heavily regulated. Finance lawyers assist their clients with matters that range from obtaining a loan to negotiating complex financial deals for big companies. This is an area where it is likely to find some amount of specialisation; there are too many components for a solicitor to be a general practitioner. Finance lawyers may specialize in categories including banking, project finance, real estate finance and private equity finance.

Banking and finance law is typically very document-heavy.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Conducting legal due diligence on entities, typically the borrower entity, in a loan transaction
  2. Researching content for legal opinions on various areas of banking and finance law

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who practices in the Banking & Finance sector.

Jack of all trades

The business advisory arm of a law firm would typically handle matters that do not fall into one of the strict core areas of the firm’s practice. Some of these areas include company secretarial, immigration law, employment law and general legal advice

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Registration of companies at the CAC
  2. Filing of returns at the CAC
  3. Reviewing and drafting of general legal agreements- employee contracts, supply agreements, etc.
  4. Assisting with obtaining visas and permits for foreign citizens and companies entering Nigeria

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who works in Business Advisory.

The capital market is quite literally the virtual market where entities go to ‘buy’ capital/raise funds for their business operations. The entities which may be limited liability companies, limited partnerships, mutual funds, or real estate investment trusts raise capital by issuing securities or debt instruments.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Drafting agreements such as trust deeds, vending agreement and securities purchase agreements
  2. Reviewing prospectuses and information memoranda
  3. Carrying out limited due diligence

Compliance is essentially conforming to a set of rules and regulations governing one’s business. Compliance lawyers are responsible for ensuring that their clients do this. They also represent their clients or regulators in the event of sanction or threat of sanction for violation of rules and regulations.

Like lawyers in business advisory teams, a good number of compliance lawyers end up in-house. They typically possess the most transferable skill set for working as in-house counsel or in government organizations.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Research
  2. Liaising with regulators
  3. Reviewing past transactions and correspondence as part of an investigation
  4. Preparing opinions on an organization’s compliance status

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who practices Compliance & Investigations Law

Definitely the most popular area of legal practice, it is basically assisting clients with disputes and claims that may arise in the course of daily activities. Such disputes could arise between companies, between individuals or between companies and individuals. Issues which fall under litigation can include a wide variety of areas such as defamation, breach of contract, fraud, etc.

Dispute Resolution is an area where law firms tend to hire legal support staff such as paralegals and filing clerks.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Research! Research!! Research!!!
  2. Drafting of various court processes
  3. Appearance in court for various matters

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who practices Dispute Resolution

Wikipedia defines intellectual property as the creation of the intellect for which a monopoly is assigned to designated owners by law. In simple terms it refers to the ownership of an idea, product or design by the person who came up with it. In today’s extremely competitive world, IP is an integral part of business.

The majority of an IP lawyer’s activity will involve providing legal advice on the usage, feasibility, marketing and distribution, infringement or duplication, ownership and usage rights for a certain product or matter. IP can be contentious and non-contentious.

If you are considering a career as a paralegal, IP is an area where Nigerian law firms are known to hire paralegals alongside lawyers

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Registration of patents and copyright
  2. Assisting clients with investigations involving an infringement on their IP

 

Corporate restructuring is the act of reorganizing the legal, ownership, operational, or other structure of a company for the purpose of making it more profitable, or better organized for its present needs (Wikipedia).

Corporate restructurings include listings and initial public offerings, mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and schemes of arrangements. In some cases, a firm’s insolvency practice may be subsumed in its Corporate Restructurings department.

Like Banking and Finance, expect late nights and weekends in the office. This is core corporate law!! As a young lawyer, legal due diligence will be the bane of your existence, but the feeling of satisfaction when you ‘close’ your first deal is truly rewarding.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Conducting legal due diligence on entities
  2. Researching content for legal opinions on the implications of a transaction structure
  • Preparing conditions precedents lists and monitoring their satisfaction

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who practices Mergers & Acquisitions law

Buy land, they are not making any more of it

A potentially lucrative area, land has always been in high demand throughout history and there will always be a market to buy, sell, lease, or develop it. A lawyer in this field could work with residential property, commercial property or both.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Assisting with negotiating and drafting various agreements such as powers of attorney, deeds of assignment, deeds of mortgage, etc.
  2. Drafting various property law related letters such as Notices to Quit

Taxes are no fun

No really, they aren’t. Taxes are a major source of revenue for government authorities and a company’s biggest expense, as such tax law can be rather complex.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Advising clients on taxation matters and the implication of a transaction on taxation liabilities
  2. Interfacing between clients and government agencies
  • Registering companies with the taxation authorities

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who practices Taxation Law.

Because of the constant evolution of technology TMT is one of the fastest-developing sectors of the legal market.  A TMT lawyer advises players in the TMT sector on all aspects of telecommunications law, including regulatory, intellectual property, corporate, and licensing issues.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Preparing opinions on the implications of a proposed action or transaction on regulatory issues such as data protection, privacy and the environment.

Human Rights law is the area of law that seeks to protect and enforce human rights. Typically drawn by altruistic ambition, human rights lawyers represent people whose human rights are violated either by government agencies, corporate entities or individuals. The tasks carried out in this area of law are similar to those carried out inn dispute resolution.

Typical tasks for a Junior Associate include:

  1. Court appearances, especially for bail hearings
  2. Police station visits and extensive liaison with police officials
  • Research and drafting of court processes

Click here to read an interview with a lawyer who practices Human Rights Law.

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